Australia square series with last-ball win


South Africa vs Australia, 2nd T20

Johannesburg—Australia chased down 204 in a thrilling last-ball victory over South Africa in the second Twenty20 international on Sunday to level the three-game series at 1-1.
Australia’s chase was powered by a brilliant partnership of 161 between David Warner, who made 77 off 40 balls, and Glenn Maxwell, who got 75 off 43.
But Maxwell fell in the penultimate over and David Warner was out first ball of the last over, leaving new batsmen Mitchell Marsh and James Faulkner to get 11 off the final five balls to win.
Helped by two wides in that last over from Kagiso Rabada, the Australians scrambled home to 205-5, running two off the last delivery to clinch a victory that appeared way out of their reach at 32-3 in the sixth over.
Earlier, captain Faf du Plessis anchored an aggressive South African batting performance in the second Twenty20 international against Australia at the Wanderers Stadium.
Du Plessis hit 79 in a South African total of 204 for seven after they were sent in to bat.
Left-arm seamer James Faulkner was outstanding for Australia, taking three for 28 in four overs while most of his team-mates took some heavy punishment.
Australian captain Steve Smith said at the toss that the Wanderers, a renowned limited overs batting paradise, was a ground where a batting team never knew how many runs were enough.
South Africa’s approach from the start suggested they believed they needed at least 200.
A succession of batsmen played big shots, scored quickly and got out, while Du Plessis played more circumspectly before slamming two sixes and two fours off the first four balls of the last over, bowled by John Hastings, before he was caught in the deep.
Du Plessis hit five sixes and five fours in a 41-ball innings.
Quinton de Kock made 44 off 28 balls, while David Miller thrashed 33 off 18 deliveries.
South Africa made two changes from the side that won the first match of the three-game series by three wickets in Durban on Friday.
Fast bowler Dale Steyn returned in place of Kyle Abbott for his first appearance since injuring a shoulder in the first Test against England in December. All-rounder Farhaan Behardien replaced Rilee Rossouw.
Australia made four changes, meaning all 15 players in their squad played in the first two matches.
Shane Watson, Faulkner, Ashton Agar and Josh Hazlewood replaced Usman Khawaja, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa and Andrew Tye.—AP

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